“How do you know when you are becoming a fanatic on a principle and getting things out of balance?” New Era, Apr. 1971, 37–38
Answer/Brother Rodney Turner
Satan is a horizontal extremist. That is one of the chief methods he employs in fighting against God, as he tries to pervert every true and righteous concept by tempting us to become unbalanced in its application. Depending on the individual, Satan will either strive to have the concept repudiated and abandoned or carried to the opposite point of possible obsessive involvement. Thus, he would have us love too little or too much, feel remorse for sin too little or too much, be concerned about physical health too little or too much, and so forth.
Therefore, we are becoming fanatical when we exalt one principle at the expense of all others, when we become a respecter of principles in that we make too much of one and therefore too little of others. We then lack spiritual symmetry; we are distorted, unbalanced, and false.
We are getting things out of balance when our commitment causes us to alienate ourselves from our fellow saints and mortals, when we find ourselves sitting in judgment on those who do not share our magnificent obsession with a certain point of view (probably on a point that has elements of speculation in it), and when we reject others because we disagree with their views.
We are out of balance and becoming fanatical when we feel a pride in our own presumed deeper comprehension of God’s true will, and in an assumed spiritual superiority that we enjoy over our nonmember brothers and sisters. We are losing perspective when, like some of the Pharisees, we care, so to speak, more about the Sabbath than man and more about some principle that supposedly divides us than about the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man that were meant to unite us.